Updates from October, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:39 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Leaves have been late to change this year after an exceptionally warm September; TVA predicts a warm and summery October (video plays).

    • Blork 10:20 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      I had noticed that. I usually spot the first tinges of red on the mountain in mid- to late August, but this year it was well into September. Even now, the first week of October, the leaves are barely turned in some places.

      …which is odd, because I thought it was the shortening of the days that triggered the turn, not the change in temperature.

      I recall a few years ago we had an unusually warm autumn, and the leaves were somewhat slow to turn, and they never really turned to the blazing yellows and reds we so look forward too. They mostly just turned brown. I fear the same will happen this year.

  • Kate 22:24 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre is promising four free transit weekends during big events and has promised Lachine a sports complex. Jonathan Montpetit analyzes Coderre’s campaigning methods.

    Valérie Plante talks to Global about her vision for the city and free transit for students and seniors.

    I despise the Gazette sometimes and not least for rounding up Dan Delmar to tell people they’re quite right to stay home and not vote.

    • ant6n 22:29 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      For the Formula E weekend kerfuffle I tried to crunch some numbers, apparently each free weekend costs about 1.1M$ in lost revenue.

    • Daniel 05:26 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      That Gazette article is infuriating.

    • Blork 10:24 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      @antn, I’m curious about your revenue numbers. Is your calculation based on lost revenue specifically from per-use ticket sales, or is it based purely on the number of rides taken divided by the ticket price per ride? (Clarification: I use a monthly pass. If I take a ride during a free weekend, is that counted as lost revenue, or do you only count the people who didn’t plunk down cash for single or short-term passes?)

    • PO 10:35 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      Just saw a pressure washer crew taking off the bike path paint on the Atwater sidewalk. The election is heating up.

    • DanD 13:36 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      I don’t think that Dan Delmar is saying that “they’re quite right to stay home and not vote.” Instead, I think he’s saying that if you don’t vote, you’re still allowed to complain. That may be annoying but there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with what he’s saying. At least not in a free and open society. Did you even read the article, Kate?

    • ant6n 14:04 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      The whole article is about how I calculated it; yes it’s only including only tickets and short passes.

      Actually I just noticed that day-passes weren’t included in the final calculation, so I added. So it’s actually 1.2M$ per weekend.

    • Blork 14:21 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      Sorry, I didn’t notice that you had linked to the story.

    • Kate 20:41 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      Yes Mr. Delmar, I read the article, and it was the Gazette telling its creaky readership that they’re well within their rights to stay home on November 5. Technically this is true. But the paper’s choice to run this piece supports bad citizenship and the erosion of democracy.

    • ant6n 13:38 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Wait, did the author just come here and defend his article in the third person?

    • Kate 21:17 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      ant6n, I’m pretty sure he did.

  • Kate 22:13 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe’s Everett-Green finds out how the Festival du nouveau cinéma got the coveted world premiere of Blade Runner 2049.

    Update: The CBC also covers the world premiere story.

    Le Devoir talks to Claude Chamberlan, who’s retiring from the festival completely after this year.

    • rue david 13:11 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      oh man oh man, blade runner 2049 is finally here.

    • ant6n 22:17 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      like, 32 years early

  • Kate 22:03 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Some of the notorious granite stumps on Mount Royal have been fenced off and CBC finds out why.

  • Kate 07:46 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Five Bishop Street businesses have been stood up in court over financial relief to offset the effects the STM excavation is having on them; owners say they will continue the struggle.

  • Kate 07:43 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Can Coderre be feeling a little cold breeze? He’s now promising to reduce the city’s welcome tax — a plan Valérie Plante announced first.

    • Ephraim 11:48 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      On the list of logical things to do…. allow the division of houses, because the current laws preventing it are just actually costing people money, not stopping it. Undivided co-property means that you pay more for a mortgage and have none of the condo law protections. And the tax of 10% to divide a home is just as stupid as the welcome tax. Make buying a home more affordable by allowing people to buy their apartment, rather than deal with weird co-property laws.

    • Douglas 16:01 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Undivided co ownership laws were put in place so people couldn’t just convert buildings to divided condos and kick tenants via moving in at the end of the lease term.

      That law won’t change.

    • rue david 16:43 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      the current structure of tenancy in common certainly keeps the cost of housing down.

    • Ephraim 17:08 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Douglas, it doesn’t work. The number of houses moving into undivided co-property keeps on increasing. Putting ear plugs in and singing la-la-la-la isn’t doing a single thing about it. So they divide and sell and then a year later in December put in the paperwork to take over. It’s a band-aid that doesn’t work. And it doesn’t stop kicking tenants out. Not to mention the 10% tax on dividing property, to pay for a park that already exists.

    • Chris 19:00 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Ephraim : just because the number of houses moving into undivided co-property keeps on increasing doesn’t mean the law is not helping at all. It could be at least slowing conversions.

    • Tim 21:52 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Kate, you can be pretty picky on semantics, so I’m surprised that you have referenced the Bienvenue tax (from Jean Bienvenue of course) as the welcome tax. Or are you deliberately playing off the ironic double entendre? :)

    • Ephraim 21:59 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Chris, shouldn’t we be protecting people, rather than making them do it underground? At what time do we allow reality to put it’s head up, instead of playing this game of hiding our heads like ostriches?

    • Kate 22:53 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Tim, I’d swear that news story changed tack after I first linked to it.

    • Ian 08:53 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      I’ve seen a lot of the news outlets doing this lately – I commented extensively on a CBC article and they changed the headline, content, and direction of the story as the day passed making me look like a raving lunatic. Good thing Twitter doesn’t allow revisions so I could screengrab the original headline & lede at least.

      Back in the old chat forum days we called that a ninja edit – revise your original post so whoever you’re arguing with looks like they’re being irrelevant at best or making this up at worst. I understand why a news outlet would want to revise content as new information/ corrections/ etc. come up but some kind of “this story has been revised to reflect…” statement would be more responsible, especially if they allow comments – and in effect need them to drive engagement.

      Back on point though, I’m with Douglas – the condo conversion boom in the Plateau of the mid 90s has slowed down significantly. For a couple of years there it looked like every decent place was going to get converted. Certainly in Mile End I’d say we lost about 10% of rental stock over the space of less than a decade at a rough estimate. That’s not to say it no longer happens, but not nearly to the extent that it used to when it was seen as an easy way to make money hand over fist.

    • John B 11:14 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      “Coderre promet de limiter les hausses de taxes à l’inflation”

      So will the tax rate remain stable, or will it increase at the rate of inflation, thus increasing taxes by inflation * inflation, since the underlying value of the property that’s being taxed is also increasing by a number very close to inflation?

    • Ephraim 12:19 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      John, that’s an easy promise to make, because it’s easy to overcome and it’s essentially a LIE. They limit the mill rate to inflation, but change the value of the property, which leads to much higher rates. In 2017, the rates by borough went up from 1.0% in Ile Bizard to 2.6% in Rosemont (where their mayor is the highest paid, other than Coderre). But property assessment went up an average of 5.9%…

      Let’s say that property tax on $100K is $850 a year. If inflation is 1%, you should see an increase of $8.50, but if they increase your assessment by 5.9% (your house and your land are now worth more), you pay on $105.9K, so actually they bill $59.15 more. The rate didn’t increase over inflation, but yet it’s costing you just under 7% more.

      What we need is a promise that the total tax revenues (and expenditures) will not rise beyond inflation. And I’m willing to make bets that the property assessments will go up the most in the Plateau and Rosemont, because of the votes…

    • John B 12:21 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      Exactly. This whole “we won’t change the rate beyond inflation” is a false promise, since inflation is built-in, (and the city controls the underlying “value” as well).

    • Ephraim 12:24 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      Sorry, we need real expenditures to actually come down, because the interest rates the city pays on it’s debits are likely 2x to 3x the actual rate of inflation and therefore we won’t be able to keep up with debt. And as we know, interest rates in Canada are moving upward, which means more interest to pay.

  • Kate 01:45 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s something shifty going on in this story about flu vaccine: Gaétan Barrette made it illegal for doctors to charge for many things as recently as January this year, but now he’s quoted as saying “public opinion has shifted on making payments at the doctor’s office”! What the hell? Why should we pay for flu vaccine anywhere, given that other provinces make it free, and if you go to the CLSC they don’t charge you? What’s Barrette trying to sneak up on us?

    • Roman 07:59 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Who cares flu vaccines are ineffective anyways. There’s zero science that proves they work.

    • Tim S. 08:05 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Roman, I care because this incompetent meglomaniac buffoon is also in charge of things that do work.

    • ste.ph 08:12 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      “public opinion has shifted on making payments at the doctor’s office”. Where’s his research on that? NO ONE wants to pay an extra dime for medical services.

    • ant6n 11:42 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Neoliberalism – starve public services so much that people start believing the public is incompetent and privatisation is the only option

    • Brett 13:53 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Your comment doesn’t make sense in this context. Quebec doctor’s offices are already private entities which bill the Government for their services instead of the patient directly.

    • Kevin 15:43 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Your statement is false.

      The vaccines offered annually are not as effective as anyone would like because there are more than 100 different strains of influenza A alone, and it A mutates constantly. Type B mutates less often.

      We talk about flu as if it’s one disease, but it’s really dozens of constantly changing variations.

      Then again, many people confuse influenza, stomach flu, and the common cold.

    • ant6n 00:23 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      The health insurance, which pays for care, is currently public. The (neo)Liberals are working on a step by step process to eventually privatize it.

    • Ian 08:56 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      @Brett, yes, but within the context of the public health system. Ant6n’s statement is still true regardless of billing structure at the employee level. By way of comparison, snow removal is done by private contractors hired by the city, but it’s still a public service.

      Ant6n’s statment “Neoliberalism – starve public services so much that people start believing the public is incompetent and privatisation is the only option” pretty much sums it up. Creating a crisis is one of the oldest neoliberal tactics on the book.

      “If it ain’t broke, break it”

      Mike “the Axe” Harris, Premier of Ontario 1995-2002

  • Kate 01:42 on 2017/10/03 Permalink | Reply  

    This figure, what is it doing? I described it this evening as a Buddha-like figure, but a friend asked what was going on with the second head. I didn’t have an answer. Theories?

    • Dhomas 02:53 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      From what I could tell from the artist Jaume Plensa’s prior works, it looks like a man or woman sitting down holding his/her knees. See here for an example: http://ancabelu.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/7/9/14798578/1354224478.jpg

    • Kate 08:32 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Dhomas, your other example does look like knees, but the one we have here doesn’t so much. A sitting figure holding something head-shaped in its lap. But what?

    • Blork 09:25 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      Looks to me like he’s bowling.

    • Janet 10:50 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      @Blork haha
      @ Dhomas I agree. Montreal’s figure looks like a more abstract version of the guy clasping his knees. https://artpublicmontreal.ca/en/artiste/plensa-jaume/

    • Kevin 15:28 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      The artist said it’s a crouching person reminiscent of a fetus.
      The sculpture is called Source. It’s composed of letters. It gazes toward the mountain.

    • Kate 22:45 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      There are other artworks around town made of letters. I wonder why this is a thing.

    • Ian 08:58 on 2017/10/04 Permalink

      Considering how much our culture as Montréalais(es) is defined by language, it makes sense to me.

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